Fuerteventura Grand Slam
On the eighth day of competition the stunning white beaches of Sotavento provided the perfect backdrop to an all action double elimination, which culminated in the ultimate display of freestyle wizardry with the current world champion versus the current vice world champion.
Following a spectacular finale, head judge, Duncan Coombs made the decision to begin the second single elimination. With plenty of wind the first round was completed, often in gusts of over 40 knots, and will continue tomorrow from 10:30.
Results After The First Double Elimination
1st Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
2nd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
3rd Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
4th Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
5th Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
6th Leo Ray (Naish, Naish)
Having waited for much of the day, witnessing sailor after sailor progressing through the double, vice world champion and current world number two, Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra) finally hit the water late in the afternoon to defend his position against fellow Bonairean Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic). Taty had sailed amazingly against his brother, Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) to advance and compete for second. However, Thode was not about to give up his place and successfully fought off the challenge.
This allowed Thode to battle three times world champion, and single elimination winner, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) for first place. As soon as the heat opened Thode performed like a machine, busting out technical tricks right on cue. For Estredo however it was a different story, he fell on his first move, and almost every single one afterwards. Halfway through the heat Estredo knew he was losing, so to conserve energy he sailed off into the distance and back to the beach. The judges had never seen anything like it, and were absolutely amazed to see him heading home before the heat was through.
Due to the rules of the double, Thode had to beat Estredo again, so the scene was set for the ultimate showdown. Estredo had found his form, and was nailing huge air flakas, burners, and air funnels. But, Thode was still sailing at the top of his game with massive konos, culos, and air flakas of his own. It was an extremely tight heat, but Thode took it by the smallest of margins to win the first double elimination.
Aside from the final, the most dynamic heat was arguably when the European champion, Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra) challenged Taty Frans for a top five slot. The new king of pop, Van Broeckhoven nailed some of the most impressive konos of the day, and this heat was no different. Taty Frans was fully firing though, and wasn’t about to let him pass. A Gozada 900, and an awesome culo 360 from Taty halted the pop sensation dead in his tracks.
One of the slickest moves of the day was without a doubt Taty Frans’ triple one-handed spock. He held out his hand and waved at the beach to score bonus points with the judges, and cheers from the crowds. He also carried it off with so much style that many thought he should win simply on that one move.
Van Broeckohoven was going bigger than anyone else with huge konos, one-handed burners, and an amazing scopu. With tricks like that, he’s bound to win soon. However, his downfall today was only landing two moves on starboard tack in his final heat.
Stand Out Sailors
Frenchman Leo Ray (Naish, Naish) fought sailor upon sailor to progress all the way from last to sixth place. His fully planing toads, and brilliant burners helped him knock out his opponents round after round until an on form Van Broeckhoven firmly stopped him from going any further.
Another sailor who impressed the judges was newcomer to the tour, Max Rowe (Mistral, Simmer). He consistently landed his tricks to finish equal thirteenth – an excellent start to his freestyle career.
Inside The Event
As well as the awesome daily action videos, be sure to check out the short clips produced by former world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine). He’s been hanging around the event site, getting the inside line as soon as it happens. Follow the links here to watch behind the scenes footage part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5. More short clips will be uploaded throughout the day tomorrow, so be sure to keep an eye on the ticker for more links.
Keep in the groove
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can use our:
• Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
• Check live elimination ladders
• View results
• Read daily news summaries
• Browse awesome action photo galleries
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found at www.fuerteventura-worldcup.org
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org